Cutting silhouettes was a customary hobby for young girls in 1920’s Germany, but Lotte Reiniger was outstanding at it, and took it to another level. She became involved in the scene of German expressionist film-making and was inspired to use her talent as a silhouette artist to create the first ever full-length animated film “Prince Achmed” in 1926.
Not only was this an impressive feat in length, but the ethereal style created by cutting paper and photographing each individual movement (now known as stop-motion) was completely new and technologically advanced for the time.
Her use of silhouettes creates a beautiful image that allows the viewer to be imaginative and project their own vision of the story into the film while also examining the intricate cutting, peculiar gestures of the stop-motion technique, and admiring hours of labor to create a beautiful work of art.
To this day, her aesthetic and technique is an inspiration for artists creating animated films and video games like Limbo.
The silhouette technique has proven powerful in the contemporary art world as well. Particularly employed by artist, Kara Walker, who addresses racism in the United States by filling rooms with intricately cut mural sized black paper narratives. Find out more about Kara Walker here.
So come see some of the work of Lotte Reiniger, the woman that started it all, at Engine Room Art Space! We will be showing her film
"Dӓumelinchen" or "Thumbelina" on August 22nd at 5pm. The film is only 12 minutes long and a must-see! It will be accompanied by an original score recorded by a local artist! After the screening, stick around the gallery to view local art, inspired by folktales, munch on locally baked pastries and stroll downtown for Augustoberfest events! What a wonderfully inspiring Saturday evening!